Better Know a Skeptics: 10 Questions for Halden Johnson

“Better Know a Skeptic” is a series of articles introducing the members of the Ottawa skeptics by asking ten questions.
Name: Halden Johnson

Screen name: Halden
Member Since: Very near the beginning
Chosen quote: “…, the cyberspace neighborhood of parents and children but never of students, hackers, or people who actually work in high-tech.” — Neal Stephenson – cryptonomicon
1) Briefly describe yourself.  What do you do for a living, etc.
I am a Thirty Three year old father of one (soon to be three). I am a paid geek for the Government of Canada.

2) Why are you a “skeptic”?  Was there a “wow” moment?
I think I was always skeptical or at the very least I have always questioned things (even during some attempted believer phases). My big pushes into skepticism were Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene and loitering around the JREF forums.

3) What are your hobbies/interests?
Most of my time is currently consumed by family life but I like to Ski, surf the web and debate (particularly over a pint).

4) What are you passionate about at the moment?
My kid(s) at the moment are my passion and reason for being.
5) Do you have a hero?  Why him/her?
Douglas Adams. He was that perfect mix of funny and intelligent.
6) If you could have dinner with 5 people, dead or alive,  who would they be and why?

William S. Burroughs, Stephen Hawking, Neil Gaiman, Henry Rollins and Neil deGrasse Tyson. These 5 men have probably influenced me the most throughout my life and all at different fairly crucial times, besides any party that could get those 5 men in one room would be pretty cool.

7) Do you have a favourite: album, musician, sports team, movie, TV show, book? (Feel free to list one, some, or all.)
Musically I have had hippie, grunge, punk and metal head phases. My current favourite is Twilight of the Thunder God by Amon Amarth. Sports there is the Habs and only the Habs. Books go through non-fiction and fiction phases but mostly I read popular science and Sci-Fi.
8) What grinds your gears?
The two things that will get me going the most are Alternative medicine claims and Right Wing politics.
9) Tell me something I don’t know about you.
I am a Cancer survivor.
10) Why are we here?
I don’t think there is a why, per say. There is no universal reason for humanity but it does not mean that we cannot live purposeful and meaningful lives by finding our own why.

17. February 2009 by Pat
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